@ Over 25 Interesting, Historic, and Cultural Rides. Updated 2015. Cycling Along Europe’s Rivers is a “How To” book on taking self-guided bike trips to Europe that are affordable and easy to organize. The book is based on the author’s extensive experience, including over 20 years of annual cycle trips to Europe. Rhine River, Danube River, Elbe River, Loire River, Po River, Neckar River, Mosel River, Main River, and more. • How to plan and prepare. • How to get what you need to the start of a ride and home again –bikes, panniers, and you. • What to bring and what not — how to keep your load small. • How to handle getting around and other logistics. • Bike, Lodging and Eating advice. • Safety, Security, and Communication advice. • Route recommendations and key features. In short, everything you need to know to have a first-class, comfortable, flexible, and interesting riding trip to Europe without spending a fortune or going with an organized package. We b
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Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. Its name translates to White city. The city proper has a population of over 2 million people.
One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, Thraco-Dacians inhabited the region, and after 279 BC Celts conquered the city, naming it Singidūn. It was conquered by the Romans during the reign of Augustus, and awarded city rights in the mid 2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, and changed hands several times between the Byzantine Empire, Frankish Empire, Bulgarian Empire and Kingdom of Hungary before it became the capital of Serbian King Stephen Dragutin (1282–1316). In 1521, Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of the Sanjak of Smederevo. It frequently passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Ottoman wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918, when the city was reunited. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia (in various forms of governments) from its creation in 1918, to its final dissolution in 2006.
Belgrade has a special administrative status within Serbia and it is one of five statistical regions of Serbia. Its metropolitan territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each with its own local council. It covers 3.6% of Serbia’s territory, and 22.5% of the country’s population lives in the city. The city has been awarded many titles, and the nomination for European Capital of Culture 2020.
Houseboats on Ada Ciganlija
Extreme sports are available, such as bungee jumping, water skiing, and paintballing. There are numerous tracks on the island, where it is possible to ride a bike, go for a walk, or go jogging. Apart from Ada, Belgrade has total of 16 islands on the rivers, many still unused. Among them, the Great War Island at the confluence of Sava, stands out as an oasis of unshattered wildlife (especially birds). These areas, along with nearby Small War Island, are protected by the city’s government as a nature preserve. Tourist income is annually around 800 million Euros. In 2012, Belgrade visited 976.674 registered tourists.From that number 771.299 were foreign. Also more than 100.000 tourists arrive by 850 river cruisers.
Belgrade has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife; many clubs that are open until dawn can be found throughout the city. The most recognizable nightlife features of Belgrade are the barges (splav), spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.
Belgrade nightlife on riverclubs.
Many weekend visitors—particularly from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia—prefer Belgrade nightlife to that of their own capitals, due to a perceived friendly atmosphere, great clubs and bars, cheap drinks, the lack of language difficulties, and the lack of restrictive night life regulation.
Famous alternative clubs include Akademija and the famed KST (Klub Studenata Tehnike), located in the basement of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Electrical Engineering. One of the most famous sites for alternative cultural happenings in the city is the SKC (Student Cultural Centre), located right across from Belgrade’s highrise landmark, the Beograđanka. Concerts featuring famous local and foreign bands are often held at the center. SKC is also the site of various art exhibitions, as well as public debates and discussions.
Skadarlija, the city’s old bohemian neighbourhood
A more traditional Serbian nightlife experience, accompanied by traditional music known as Starogradska (roughly translated as Old Town Music), typical of northern Serbia’s urban environments, is most prominent in Skadarlija, the city’s old bohemian neighborhood where the poets and artists of Belgrade gathered in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Skadar Street (the centre of Skadarlija) and the surrounding neighbourhood are lined with some of Belgrade’s best and oldest traditional restaurants (called kafanas in Serbian), which date back to that period. At one end of the neighbourhood stands Belgrade’s oldest beer brewery, founded in the first half of the 19th century. One of the city’s oldest kafanas is the Znak pitanja.
The Times reported that Europe’s best nightlife can be found in buzzing Belgrade. In the Lonely Planet “1000 Ultimate Experiences” guide of 2012, Belgrade was placed at the 1st spot among the top 10 party cities in the world.
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